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An apple a day keeps diabetes away

1You may want to add fresh fruits to your diet as according to a recent study, the greater the

consumption, the lower is the incidence of diabetes, as well as occurrence of complications in


Although the health benefits of diets including fresh fruit and vegetables are well established, the

sugar content of fruits has led to uncertainty about associated risks of diabetes and of vascular

complications of the disease.

Huaidong Du of the University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom and colleagues studied nearly

500,000 people participating in the China Kadoorie Biobank over about 7 years of follow-up,

documenting new cases of diabetes and recording the occurrence of vascular disease and death in

people with pre-existing diabetes.

The researchers found that people who reported elevated consumption of fresh fruit had a lower

associated risk of developing diabetes in comparison with other participants (adjusted hazard ratio

[aHR] 0.88, 95 percent CI 0.83-0.93), which corresponds to an estimated 0.2 percent reduction in the

absolute risk of diabetes over 5 years. In people with diabetes, higher consumption of fresh fruit was

associated with a lower risk of mortality (aHR 0.83, 95 percent CI 0.74-0.93 per 100g fruit/d),

corresponding to an absolute decrease in risk of 1.9 percent at 5 years, and with lower risks of

microvascular and macrovascular complications.

In addition to the health benefits of consuming fresh fruit, Du and colleagues emphasize the value of

their findings for Asian populations where fruit consumption is commonly restricted in people with


The main limitation of this observational study is that the effects of fruit consumption can be

difficult to distinguish from those of participants’ other dietary and behavioural characteristics.

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